3D-News Archive April 2006


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EADS Military Tanker Aircraft with Stereoscopic Vision System
3D-News Posted: Thursday, April 27, 2006 (14:16 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


The first A330 aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force's Multi-role Tanker Transport (MRTT) program has rolled off the production line and completed initial evaluations, and the advanced fly-by-wire refueling boom that will equip it has recently concluded a preliminary series of in-flight tests.

An integrated 2-D and 3-D stereoscopic enhanced vision system is incorporated in the boom system for day/night missions.

New Math: Recent Algorithmic Art at L.A. Center for Digital Art
3D-News Posted: Thursday, April 27, 2006 (3:17 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


From May 11 through June 3, the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art presents an international group exhibit of artists using computer algorithms, math based image generators and custom software for the production of abstract works. The show includes videos of animated algorithmic renderings, architecturally based works, internet generated images, 3D stereoscopes, art based on organic growth, as well as interactive pieces where visitors can create their own images.

The stereoscopic exhibit was created by Andy Lomas. He is a mathematician, digital artist and Emmy award winning digital effects supervisor. His Aggregation series explores the complexity of organic form with intricate sculptural shapes generated by computer simulated growth systems. Using his own software to create the forms, biases and changes to environmental rules are used to create an incredible variety of structural shape.

The Los Angeles Center For Digital Art is located in the Gallery Row area of downtown Los Angeles, 107 West Fifth Street between Main and Spring. For more information see http://www.lacda.com

21st Century 3D to Demonstrate Breakthrough Direct-to-Disk Stereoscopic Recording Technology at NAB 2006
3D-News Posted: Thursday, April 20, 2006 (17:48 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


21st Century 3D announced that it will showcase the 3DVX3 camera system, the world's smallest and lightest high-definition stereoscopic camera - recorder, at the National Association of Broadcasters convention (NAB), April 22-27 in Las Vegas. The 3DVX3 records a staggering 58 Mbytes/sec of stereoscopic video data to on-board, removable Seagate Momentus 7200.1 hard drives. While most digital camera systems measure their sustained data rates in Mbits/sec, the 3DVX3 records 1200% more data than most prosumer HD cameras, putting unprecedented demands on its storage subsystem.

Unlike many other direct to disk or direct to edit systems that record low bandwidth DV or HDV formatted video, the 3DVX3 records uncompressed RAW CCD data at 4:4:4 RGB in up to 10 bits per channel. Recorded simultaneously, each left and right eye video channel consists of 29Mbytes/sec of sustained data. This data flows from the camera's A/D converters directly to two on board removable Seagate Momentus 7200.1 hard drives via two high speed USB data interfaces and two extensively modified Mac OS X CPUs.

Seagate's 2.5-inch Momentus 7200.1 drives are compact and lightweight. They offer extremely high performance, and consume 48% less power than other drives 21st Century 3D tested. In addition, Momentus 7200.1 was the only model hard drive to sustain a write speed of 29Mb/sec over the entire disk surface – crucial to providing a full hour of recording time and extending operating duration from a single battery charge. Offered in capacities of up to 100GB, Momentus 7200.1 drives deliver a substantially longer record time than other 2.5" drives that were initially considered for use in the 3DVX3. The Momentus 7200.1 features a 7,200-rpm spin speed and 8mb on board cache that also makes it ideal for high-performance mobile workstations, non-mission-critical blade servers and small form factor PCs like the ones built in to the 3DVX3.

3DVX3 inventor and CEO of 21st Century 3D Jason Goodman said, "One of the keys to designing a successful system was the use of off the shelf components to the greatest extent possible. Selecting the correct ones proved to be a substantial challenge however. Throughout the course of development, we tried every brand and configuration of drive we could get our hands on. RAID configurations were tested too, but weight and size were critical design factors in creating the 3DVX3. Power consumption was a major issue as well. The sheer quantity of data being recorded dictated that the drives would need to be easily removable in a production situation. RAID arrangements offered good performance but poor battery life and they were neither compact nor convenient to deal with. A single drive (per eye view) solution was needed. The Seagate drives fit the bill on all accounts. A customized DC-DC regulator from Carnetix controls the power output from Anton/Bauer Dionic 160 batteries and the lower power consumption of the Seagate drives really helped extend operating time."

NAB is the largest electronic media tradeshow in the world, and the 2006 event marks the first major public demonstration of 3DVX3 technology. 21st Century 3D will occupy booth C11631 in the Central Hall where they will be displaying the camera system as well as footage shot by the 3DVX3 in full color stereoscopic 3D.

Fakespace Software and Visualization Solutions Provide U.S. Army With New Tools for Research
3D-News Posted: Wednesday, April 19, 2006 (1:15 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Enabling VR in U.S. Army's C4ISR Automated Virtual Environment and ROVR Labs Aids in Providing Future Battle Commanders With Advanced Decision Making Capabilities

Fakespace Systems Inc. announced that it is working with Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Army's Command and Control Directorate at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey in support of research in the Directorate's C4ISR Automated Virtual Environment and ROVR laboratories. C4ISR, which stands for Command Control Communications Computers Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance, is an initiative in support of the U.S. Army's command and control operations. Fakespace has delivered reconfigurable and portable visualization systems and is providing Fakespace's Conduit(TM) software enhancement and application development services as part of the Lockheed Martin team.

The Fort Monmouth Directorate uses Command and Control applications that can generate three-dimensional (3D) models of the battlefield. While these applications can present 3D images, they have been limited to display on two-dimensional monitors and projectors. The Directorate believes they need a more advanced viewing capability to immerse commanders in a virtual environment. Their goal is to simultaneously increase the overall comprehension of Command and Control (C2) information through intuitive visualization and to improve the mechanisms for user interaction. This may improve future commanders' ability to make command and control decisions by permitting virtual 3D course of action analysis, mission rehearsals, and mission planning so they may act decisively in the face of quickly changing circumstances.

Fakespace is applying its Conduit software technology as well as other application enhancement to help Fort Monmouth in two stages of development; immersion and advanced interaction. Conduit, a breakthrough middleware, can enable virtually any graphics-based applications to work natively in immersive visual displays by making non-stereoscopic applications generate stereoscopic views. At Fort Monmouth, Conduit has already enabled stereoscopic projection of C2 data. "Stereoscopic display is a critical step in immersing commanders to make them feel present in the situation," said Ray Schulze, Battle Command Interface Branch Chief of the U.S. Army's Command and Control Directorate. "Fakespace was able to create stereoscopic views of our C2 software without requiring access to source code." Conduit will also be applied to enable advanced immersion and interaction capabilities, such as projection in the walk-in Fakespace FLEX(TM) display environment, with full motion tracking and working with a variety of virtual input devices such as wands, gloves and tablets.

The FLEX consists of three, self-contained 8-ft x 10-ft wall screens that can be quickly reconfigured to form a flat PowerWall(TM) wall display, an immersive theatre or an enclosed immersive room for life size images. Configured as an immersive room in the C4ISR Lab, the FLEX is integrated with C2 software to give battlefield commanders a complete look-around view giving the illusion of a complete sense of presence in a battlefield situation. "We will be evaluating the benefits of stereoscopic vision and complete immersion in helping commanders make decisions quicker and more accurately," said Schulze.

The U.S. Army's first demonstration in the C4ISR Lab, developed by subcontractor JB Management, was an immersive view of a fictitious replica of Baghdad presented using Boston Dynamics D.I. Guy software, which enabled commanders to locate friendly and enemy forces on the battlefield. Using this technology, commanders can quickly gain an understanding of evolving situations, explore their options and communicate their plans. "We're pleased with the initial evaluation results," said Schulze. "Future commanders have been receptive to virtual scenarios, and there is every indication that those who have grown up playing video games will be comfortable in the Virtual Reality environment."

In the C4ISR Lab is a motion platform, which supports a replica of a High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) shelter to enable research on information access and input while commanders are operating on the move. Operators will be able to interact with C2 software presented in the HMMWV using new methods of interaction, such as touch input, keyboard, mouse, or speech recognition, while the vehicle is in motion. The interaction tools will also be managed by Fakespace Conduit.

Networked battlefield operations is a future focus of the Command and Control Directorate. The C4ISR Lab, networked with the Army's ROVR lab, a portable version of the C4ISR Lab, will allow collaboration between the labs, so that software viewed in the C4ISR Lab can also be viewed in the ROVR Lab. In the ROVR Lab, 3D virtual representations of battle scenarios provide commanders with a more reliable and accurate means of viewing information on the battlefield in real-time. The ROVR Lab consists of three Fakespace ROVR(TM) (Rapidly Operational Virtual Reality) transportable visualization systems configured as an immersive room. Each ROVR large screen can be presenting stereoscopic images in as little as 15 minutes.

Both laboratories are currently being supported by on-site Fakespace personnel for application development and related services. "We are pleased to be working directly with the Directorate to be able to accommodate and accelerate their current and future research," said Chris Clover, President and CEO of Fakespace Systems Inc. "Their C4ISR project demonstrates the potential Conduit has to enable people to work with their applications in new ways."

New Exhibition and 3D-Movie to Highlight Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake
3D-News Posted: Saturday, April 15, 2006 (14:28 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


The Centennial of the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire is at hand, and in recognition, the California State Capitol Museum is getting ready to shake things up! "Rumors of Great Disaster: The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake" is an all-new exhibit opening at the Museum on April 22, 2006. The exhibit features dramatic photographs, original accounts of survivors, memorabilia, and artifacts from the earthquake and firestorm.

The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire was one of the most devastating urban disasters in United States history. The exhibit explores the geology of the earthquake area, the initial devastation caused by the actual earthquake, and the great conflagration that followed — engulfing dozens of city blocks and causing even greater destruction and loss of life than the earthquake itself. Also highlighted are San Francisco's chaotic evacuation, the response by Federal and State governments, support from local communities and private enterprise, plus the city's lengthy recovery and its massive rebuilding efforts.

To help shake things up in advance of the State Capitol exhibit's opening, the California State Capitol Museum on April 18 will unveil a dramatic, newly-enhanced Stereoscopic 3D movie of the disaster.

In "’06: The Big One", viewers will have the opportunity to experience the horror "up close and personal" as the ground splits open, buildings crumble, and fire consumes the great city. This documentary thriller — which premiers 100 years from the date of the earthquake (April 18, 1906) — will provide modern audiences with an unforgettable look back at what remains the State's greatest-ever natural disaster.

The exhibit "Rumors of Great Disaster: The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake" and its companion stereoscopic 3D film "’06: The Big One" are sponsored by the California State Legislature and California State Parks, and developed by the staff of the California State Capitol Museum.

"’06: The Big One" 3D Movie will be presented every 15 minutes from 9 am to 5 pm starting April 18, 2006 in the State Capitol Museum Theater, located in the basement of the California State Capitol building in Sacramento. Visit the Capitol Tour office located in Room B-27 to pick up your free 3D viewing glasses.

A New Application for 3D Technology Announced by U.S. Company StereoImaging Corporation
3D-News Posted: Friday, April 14, 2006 (14:35 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


StereoImaging has announced their new stereoscopic video microscope system for dental applications, the DentiMag3D™

Headquartered in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts, StereoImaging Corporation designs and manufactures stereoscopic image capture devices. Using proprietary stereoscopic digital image capture technology, StereoImaging has developed a continuous zoom stereo video microscope for use in dental procedures such as root canals. Unlike single cameras that attach to microscopes, and some other recent arrivals to the marketplace, DentiMag3D™ is unique because it replicates the stereo microscope viewing experience of providing magnification with depth perception.

An enlarged view of the operative field enables both higher quality and faster treatment, so there is significant advantage to using a stereoscopic microscope for applications where loupes do not provide sufficient magnification. It allows the dentist to judge depth and vary the level of magnification to the task at hand. Unfortunately, it also affects the work, by coming between dentist and patient, limiting the field of view and choice of postures. With DentiMag3D™ the image capture and display are decoupled, allowing the camera to be positioned at the convenience of the dentist, and reclaiming the space to the patient.

"We have designed it to replicate the experience of high magnification you get in a stereo microscope, but while looking at a 3D monitor, headset or projector" said Phil McKinley, President of StereoImaging. "We can do this because at the heart of DentiMag3D™is our stereoscopic imaging technology. This technology captures two images, allowing the user to judge depth and change magnification the same way they would with any continuous zoom microscope."

DentiMag3D™ provides a complete and comprehensive replacement for an optical microscope, upgrading a surgical suite to a fully digital environment. The unit is ideal for sharing the 3D image with other doctors, assistants and/or the patient. Educators may also be interested in equipping their unit with a 3D projection system for students. The complete system includes the camera, a 3D monitor such as from SeeReal, and a choice of mounting options.

Dimension 3 to release new 3D-Movie: Night Of The Living Dead 3D
3D-News Posted: Thursday, April 13, 2006 (14:40 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Dimension 3 (http://www.d3.com), a provider of 3D technologies and services, is using Bluefish444's HD|Lust video card on several 3D projects. The company offers products and services for 3D glasses, 3DTV, 3D film, 3D art and 3D print media.

Having moved into HD after several years of working in SD, Dimension 3 recently used Bluefish444's HD|Lust on two projects: Night Of The Living Dead 3D (pictured) and The Stewardesses 3D. Slated for a 4th quarter 2006 release, Night of the Living Dead 3D (http://www.notld3d.com) is both a homage and re-imagining of the 1968 film. The film uses the Natural Vision process, based on the anaglyph principle (red/blue glasses), to create a realistic 3D experience.

For the shoot, Dimension 3 built two custom lightweight dual, HDV 3D cameras. The film features extensive use of handheld and Steadicam shots, marking a first in the production of 3D films. In addition, realtime 3D monitoring was used on the set. Dimension 3 also recently restored the 1970 3D film, The Stewardesses, and did an HD transfer from the camera negative.

The result made the film look even better than when originally released. The HD version will be released on HD DVD before the end of 2006.

ColorLink Introduces ColorComb(TM) Eyewear
3D-News Posted: Thursday, April 13, 2006 (14:34 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


ColorLink introduces ColorComb(TM) eyewear to enable new advanced multi-functional LCD displays. A number of LCD display manufacturers have recently announced development of LCD monitors using LEDs of six different colors as a backlight. ColorComb eyewear leverages these recent developments to enable 3D viewing. Using the theory of spectral-division stereo display, ColorComb glasses will allow viewers a more realistic experience by allowing for 3D viewing. Until now, even though most games written in OpenGL or DirectX could be viewed in 3D, the equipment to do so was prohibitively expensive. Now by simply using an inexpensive pair of ColorComb glasses with these next-generation LCD displays, the thrill of 3D viewing is possible.

Seeking to have privacy when using your laptop on a plane, ColorComb eyewear allows only you to see the display. It appears gray to the person seated next to you. In addition, ColorComb glasses with specially enabled LCD TVs allow one viewer wearing one pair of glasses to watch one TV show and a second viewer with a second pair can watch another show. Unlike traditional PIP, each viewer sees his or her respective show in full-screen HD.

ColorLink's President, Leo Bannon, stated, "We hope by providing a source of inexpensive spectral-division eyewear, LCD display-makers will begin to leverage advancements in multi-primary LED-based LCD displays to add functionality to these next-generation products. With almost no additional cost, users could be able to view stunning 3D. Simultaneous viewing of two different TV shows by two different viewers could eliminate the need for fighting over the remote."

II Stereoscopy Biannual Meeting of Catalonia (II BICAT 3D)
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, April 11, 2006 (17:15 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


The 2nd Stereoscopy Biannual Meeting of Catalonia will be held in Terrassa, from May 12th to 14th, 2006. The theme this year is "3D Digital Image and Catalan Modernism".

Within the program of events, sponsored by the City Hall of Terrassa, the organizers have the collaboration of the Museu de la Ciència i de la Tècnica de Catalunya (Technical and Science Museum of Catalonia) and the Stéréo-Club Français.

For more information, please contact Carles E. Moner of Eurostereo Foundation, E-Mail: cmoner@euroconsell.com

Erasmus University Medical Center Uses SGI Technology for Groundbreaking Translational Medicine Research
3D-News Posted: Tuesday, April 11, 2006 (15:21 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


I-Space 3D Immersive Environment Powered by Silicon Graphics Systems Now Available to European Medical and Research Centers

To greatly enhance clinical treatment and medical research capabilities, with special emphasis on genomics data mining, proteomics data mining and translational medicine, Erasmus Medical Center added server and visualization systems from Silicon Graphics to its hospital and research facility in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The SGI® technology, installed late last year, is used for collaboration and visualization of large amounts of data, applied in neurosciences, cardiovascular, and cancer fields, as well as monitoring fetal development.
Erasmus University Medical Center (Erasmus MC) has developed 3D volume rendering software, capable of converting 2D medical images to 3D. The software runs in an immersive, interactive environment called I-space, developed at Erasmus MC. For the commercial launch of the I-space model, the medical center selected Barco projectors and Silicon Graphics Prism(TM) visualization systems as image generators to create the four-sided, 3x3x3- metre, 3D world intended for multidisciplinary collaboration.

Because the prototype model at Erasmus MC surpassed even the highest expectations of researchers and clinicians, the medical center spun off a Rotterdam-based company, Crosslinks, which is now beginning to market I-space to hospitals and medical centers throughout Europe in collaboration with SGI and Barco.

The original I-space at Erasmus MC was developed in close cooperation with medical staff that use the technology regularly for complex diagnoses. While I-space, in theory, could be used for various Virtual Reality applications the proprietary software is specifically targeted to the medical and biology fields.

"We chose the Silicon Graphics system for I-space because we needed hardware that was both suitable for high-performance computing and also delivered superb graphical capabilities," said Ronald Nanninga, founder and managing director of Crosslinks. "There are eight graphics pipes in the system -- you are actually standing inside the data -- so we required a visualization computer that is powerful enough to really do the rendering of the 3D software in a very efficient way, and only SGI had the appropriate solution. When we began working on the development of I-space, we used an older SGI system, but with this brand new Prism, our performance really improved. Frame rate has gone up from 4 to 15, and that tells you something about how easy it is to move around large data sets, turn them around, and zoom in and zoom out. It's easier to make a diagnosis together with other medical personnel when the surgical reality is right in front of you, rather than seeing it alone, just on a small computer screen."

A Silicon Graphics Prism visualization system with 8 Intel® Itanium® 2 processors, 8 ATI® FireGL(TM) graphics processors and 12GB of memory is used to drive I-space. I-space enables researchers to explore vast amounts of genomics and proteomics data in an infinite 3D world. It also presents clinicians with new ways to investigate datasets from all kinds of 3D imaging modalities, including MRI and CT scans. I-space uses 8 Barco projectors for the four walls: the floor, and the left, right and front. A 3D mouse uses four tracking devices -- one in each corner, enabling the system to recognize the relative position of the mouse -- and a virtual stick, which allows the user to touch an object, push it on one side, zoom in/zoom out, and even slice the object. Stereoscopic glasses complete the immersive 3D experience. I-space was specifically created to allow doctors and researchers to discuss -- among different disciplines -- the data they are all seeing in the immersive visualization.

"We built I-space ourselves in collaboration with the folks from SGI and Barco," said Prof. Dr. Peter van der Spek, a geneticist by training who is also an engineer. "Barco has the projectors, but the Silicon Graphics Prism has all the graphics pipes that superbly work together with Barco. It's cutting-edge technology and the power of Intel inside the Prism system is also very important for us, so we are very, very happy with the technology that drives I-space."

I-space at Erasmus Medical Center

At Erasmus MC, I-space is used for two reasons: research and clinical diagnostics. The clinical application deals with medical visualization in 3D of different modalities such as MRI scans, CT scans, and ultrasound images. Doctors can walk through an MRI scan of a patient while discussing it with their colleagues. Multidisciplinary discussions are routine. For instance, for a patient with a brain tumor, the neurologist, with the neurosurgeon, are together in I-space and can decide what the best strategy is to remove the tumor from the brain. Or, for a person with a lung tumor, the thorax surgeon is there with the lung specialist, and they look to see where the tumor is positioned. Is it an area accessible to the thorax surgeon, and how can he most optimally approach the tumor? Are there large blood vessels going through the tumor? Is the tumor close to the heart? All of this has to be taken into account when removing a tumor.

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Editor-in-Chief: Alexander Klein.

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